Address - 335 Tryon Road, Raleigh NC Map
Style - Counter service, Sit-down Restaurant Website
Holy Smokes is a a caterer/carry out operation which is inside a restaurant. You order the food at the counter in carry out quantities. If you want to carry out, you get the food in a bag. If you want to eat in, you get the carry out containers on a tray, along with a drink and eat in the restaurant. Everything is ala carte, in 5 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, etc, containers.
The restaurant is really neat. It is a shiny diner, probably a replica, with an embossed ceiling and neon tubes running along the ceiling. The booths are thickly upholstered with vintage vinyl. I love this place.
The food is fabulous. You pick out your sides at the beginning of the counter. These include the usual suspects, including potato salad, fried okra, hushpuppies, banana pudding. You then move along to the cutter, who serves your meat. He cuts brisket and ribs on order. Meats include North Carolina chopped pork, Texas chooped beef, beef short ribs, St Louis style pork ribs, smoked turkey breast, pork loin, smoked sausage and chicken.
The pork barbecue is traditional eastern style with a good smoke flavor and character. The beef brisket is made with a thick peppery rub. I had an end piece with a good chunk of the rub, which I loved. The sides were fine. I found the hushpuppies to be a little heavy for the downeast style.
Other customers who were in there at lunch time would order lunch on the tray and also meat to take home for dinner. I'd recommend either chopped meat for lunch and brisket or ribs for dinner.
Update: Holy Smokes has now closed.